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NEWS

Larsson feels ready, Brodeur to start Friday

Thursday, 02.23.2012 / 2:54 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Larsson feels ready, Brodeur to start Friday



 
Adam Larsson hopes to be in the lineup Friday when the Devils face another tough test against the Vancouver Canucks.

Larsson has been sidelined with a bruised lower back since Feb. 2, when he took a hard hit from Montreal's P.K. Subban. Excited to be back with the team, Larsson was paired with Bryce Salvador at Thursday's practice.

"Today it feels great," Larsson said. "I've been skating now for four days, and it feels pretty good now the last three days. I'm very glad to be back now."

The rookie's recovery took longer than he'd expected.

"It didn't heal the way I thought it would, so it was pretty frustrating," he said. "It took a long time. Now, the last week has been better every day, so I'm glad."

Larsson thought his collision with the boards did more damage than the hit itself.

"I knew he was a great hitter, but I didn't know he was that good," Larsson said. "I saw him and I knew he was there, but he was so fast I couldn't really move from there."

He added: "There's no hard feelings or anything. It was a good hit. If I could've done that, I would've."

Despite missing the last nine games, Larsson still leads Devils defensemen with 16 points (2g-14a). His return would strengthen a blue line that has had to overcome key injuries all season.

"We're getting some bodies back and we're going to have some tough decisions to make," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "That's the spot you want to be in."

Like Larsson, Ryan Carter (hand) has also missed nine games and returned to practice on Thursday. He skated at left wing on a line with Jacob Josefson and Nick Palmieri.

Defenseman Kurtis Foster (upper body) has missed the last two contests, but reported feeling better after practice.

"We're going to meet with the trainers after they get their treatments and see how everybody feels and make some decisions tonight," DeBoer said.

The red-hot Devils (35-20-4, 74 pts.) have won four in a row and nine of their last 11. The Canucks (38-16-6, 82 pts.) are 7-1-2 in their last 10 and are second in points to League-leading Detroit.

Vancouver was set to visit the Red Wings in Detroit on Thursday. The Wings entered the meeting having won an NHL-record 23 straight on home ice.

Martin Brodeur will start Friday to open a tough stretch of three games in four days. Tampa Bay visits on Sunday; the Devils head to MSG to face the Rangers on Monday.

"For sure, this is a great test for us this weekend," DeBoer said. "You've got Vancouver and the Rangers – two of the top three teams in the League coming up – and Tampa sandwiched in between, which has been one of the hotter teams in the League." 

Since the All-Star break, the Devils have fared well in games billed as measuring sticks. They've topped the Rangers twice, and posted wins against hot clubs like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Anaheim.

"You're always wary," DeBoer said. "We haven't seen a team like Vancouver in a long time. This team is four lines deep, six defensemen deep, some of the best goaltending in the League. They can make you pay in a lot of different ways. It's going to be real interesting in how we handle that."

Thursday's lines:
Parise-Henrique-Kovalchuk
Sykora-Elias-Clarkson
Ponikarovsky-Zubrus-Bernier
Carter-Josefson-Palmieri

Salvador-Larsson
Volchenkov-Fayne
Greene-Fayne
Taormina, Harrold

Brodeur
Hedberg


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 51 32 15 4 166 133 68
2 MTL 48 32 13 3 128 108 67
3 DET 50 29 12 9 149 129 67
4 NYI 49 32 16 1 158 139 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 BOS 50 27 16 7 134 124 61
7 NYR 47 28 15 4 139 112 60
8 WSH 49 25 14 10 144 125 60
9 FLA 47 21 16 10 115 132 52
10 PHI 51 22 22 7 140 151 51
11 OTT 48 20 19 9 136 136 49
12 TOR 51 22 25 4 144 156 48
13 NJD 50 19 22 9 113 138 47
14 CBJ 48 21 24 3 120 151 45
15 CAR 49 17 26 6 105 129 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 43 10 17 -1 27
J. Jagr 46 10 16 -12 26
M. Cammalleri 38 16 7 -2 23
P. Elias 40 6 15 -13 21
M. Zidlicky 50 4 16 -8 20
M. Ryder 42 6 12 -2 18
S. Gomez 26 4 13 -6 17
S. Bernier 35 8 8 3 16
T. Zajac 42 8 8 -6 16
M. Havlat 32 5 8 -9 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Kinkaid 2 3 3 .919 2.34
C. Schneider 17 19 5 .922 2.36